Sri Lanka shares up slightly

Sept 25, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks ended marginally higher Friday with active trading in shares of Ceylinco group firms, especially Seylan Bank, but corporate and foreign participation was lower, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index rose 0.12 percent (3.38 points) to end at 2,892.05 while the more liquid Milanka rose 0.59 percent (19.22 points) to close at 3,267.33, according to provisional stock exchange figures.

Friday’s turnover was 436 million rupees.

The All Share Price Index closed the week down 47.39 points or by 1.61 percent while the Milanka ended the week 26.15 points or 0.79 percent lower.

The weekly average turnover was 692.7 million rupees compared with last week’s 1.17 billion rupees.

Chinthana Hatangala of Lanka Securities said blue chips and banking shares fell slightly Friday.

The highest contribution to the day’s turnover came from trading in Seylan Bank non-voting shares which amounted to 90.25 million rupees.

The stock closed at 13.25, up one rupee, with one crossing, or off-the-floor deal, of a million Seylan non-voting shares at 13 rupees a share.

“Today we saw active trading in Ceylinco group stocks like Seylan Banks, Ceylinco Finance, Seylan Merchant Bank, and Blue Diamonds Jewellery mainly by retail investors, except for the single crossing of Seylan Bank non-voting,” said Hatangala.

Trading in activated carbon maker Haycarb contributed the day’s second highest turnover with one large parcel of 600,000 shares done at 81.50 rupees a share.

The stock closed at 82.50, down 2.75 rupees.

Market heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed at 152.75, down 25 cents

Hatangala said trading volumes were thinner than earlier in the week owing to lower participation by foreign and corporate investors.

On Friday, there was a net foreign outflow of 53.28 million rupees, with foreigners buying 32.1 million rupees worth shares and selling 85.38 million rupees worth.

Foreign participation was low at only 13.46 percent.

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